Rebuttal to the Ohio Science Standards - Part 4

Teach the Controversy: The fossil record does not support diversity of 
species through gradual processes. by
Patrick Young, Ph.D.



















Grade 8 Ohio Science Standard

4. Explain that diversity of species is developed through gradual processes over many generations (e.g., fossil record).

Teach the Controversy Response –

All theories about the fossil record require extrapolation and interpretation. Evolutionists believe that the geologic column and fossil record formed via gradual processes because no other interpretation fits their theory of molecules-to-man evolution. However, not one person in known history ever saw the geologic column form or the fossil record accumulate. Further, a literal interpretation of the fossil record does not support gradual change. It supports sudden appearance of life forms and stasis.

The evolutionist Roger Lewin stated, "Evolution, according to the Modern Synthesis, moves at a stately pace, with small changes accumulating over periods of many millions of years yielding a long heritage of steadily advancing lineages as revealed in the fossil record. However, the problem is that according to most paleontologists the principle feature of individual species within the fossil record is stasis, not change 1." Lewin further stated, "According to the traditional position, therefore, if sedimentation and fossilization did indeed encapsulate a complete record of prehistory, then it would reveal the postulated transitional organisms. But it isn’t and it doesn’t 2." While Lewin’s statement about perceived "millions of years" is controversial in itself, his points are valid that the fossil record does not support change and there is no evidence of transitional organisms.

The evolutionist, Robert Carroll also stated, "Perhaps we should not be surprised that vertebrate paleontologists did not support the prevailing view of slow, progressive evolution but tended to elaborate theories involving saltation, orthogenesis, or other vitalistic hypotheses. Most of the evidence provided by the fossil record does NOT (my emphasis) support a strictly gradualistic interpretation, as pointed out by Eldridge and Gould (1972) and Eldridge (1977), Gould (1985), and Stanley (1979, 1982) 3."

The issue of species diversity and gradualism is very controversial in evolutionist circles because the fossil record does NOT support it. Not only does the fossil record lack evidence that any perceived historical changes have occurred gradually, there is also no transitional evidence that species diversification is a result of a past unity of life forms. There have been several alternative theories including the famous "punctuated equilibrium" proposal by Stephen Gould and Nils Eldridge. This theory was proposed due to the complete lack of transitional forms in the fossil record and the total lack of evidence supporting gradualism.

The serious controversy about any conclusion drawn from the fossil record can be summed up with a quotation from UCLA paleontologist Everett Olson stating, "I take a dim view of the fossil record as a source of data 4."


1. Lewin, R. 1980. Evolutionary Theory under Fire. Science 210:883-887.
2. Ibid
3. Carroll, R., "Vertebrate Paleontology and Evolution", W.H. Freeman and Co., New York, 1988, p 4.
4. Ref. 1.

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